Edmund Burke Quotes & Wallpapers

Edmund Burke
Total Quotes: 645


There is nothing in the world really beneficial that does not lie within the reach of an informed understanding and a well-protected pursuit. Edmund Burke
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Evils we have had continually calling for reformation, and reformations more grievous than any evils. Edmund Burke
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You cannot plan the future by the past. Edmund Burke
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Tell me what are the prevailing sentiments that occupy the minds of your young men, and I will tell you what is to be the character of the next generation. Edmund Burke
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What shame keeps its watch, virtue is not wholly extinguished in the heart. Edmund Burke
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In a free country every man thinks he has a concern in all public matters, - that he has a right to form and a right to deliver an opinion on them. This it is that fills countries with men of ability in all stations. Edmund Burke
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War, says Machiavel, ought to be the only study of a prince; and by a prince he means every sort of state, however constituted. He ought, says this great political doctor, to consider peace only as a breathing-time, which gives him leisure to contrive, and furnishes ability to execute military plans. Edmund Burke
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Poetry is the art of substituting shadows, and of lending existence to nothing. Edmund Burke
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All virtue which is impracticable is spurious. Edmund Burke
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All writers on the science of policy are agreed, and they agree with experience, that all governments must frequently infringe the rules of justice to support themselves; that truth must give way to dissimulation, honesty to convenience, and humanity itself to the reigning of interest. The whole of this mystery of iniquity is called the reason of state. Edmund Burke
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Reflect how you are to govern a people who think they ought to be free, and think they are not. Your scheme yields no revenue; it yields nothing but discontent, disorder, disobedience; and such is the state of America, that after wading through up to your eyes in blood, you could only end up where you begun; that is, to tax where no revenue is to be found... all is confusion beyond it. Edmund Burke
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When slavery is established in any part of the world, those who are free are by far the most proud and jealous of their freedom. Edmund Burke
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I decline the election. - It has ever been my rule through life, to observe a proportion between my efforts and my objects. I have never been remarkable for a bold, active, and sanguine pursuit of advantages that are personal to myself. Edmund Burke
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Illustrious predecessor. Edmund Burke
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The use of force alone is but temporary. It may subdue for a moment; but it does not remove the necessity of subduing again: and a nation is not governed, which is perpetually to be conquered. Edmund Burke
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All protestantism, even the most cold and passive, is a sort of dissent. But the religion most prevalent in our northern colonies is a refinement on the principles of resistance: it is the dissidence of dissent, and the protestantism of the Protestant religion. Edmund Burke
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If any ask me what a free Government is, I answer, that, for any practical purpose, it is what the people think so, - and that they, and not I, are the natural, lawful, and competent judges of this matter. Edmund Burke
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Government is a contrivance of human wisdom to provide for human wants. Men have a right that these wants should be provided for by this wisdom. Edmund Burke
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"War," says Machiavelli, "ought to be the only study of a prince;" and by a prince he means every sort of state, however constituted. "He ought," says this great political doctor, "to consider peace only as a breathing-time, which gives him leisure to contrive, and furnishes ability to execute military plans. "A meditation on the conduct of political societies made old Hobbes imagine that war was the state of nature. Edmund Burke
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A nation without means of reform is without means of survival. Edmund Burke
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There is a time when the hoary head of inveterate abuse will neither draw reverence nor obtain protection. Edmund Burke
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It is by bribing, not so often by being bribed, that wicked politicians bring ruin on mankind. Avarice is a rival to the pursuits of many. Edmund Burke
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Our manners, our civilization, and all the good things connected with manners and civilization, have, in this European world of ours, depended for ages upon two principles: I mean the spirit of a gentleman, and the spirit of religion. Edmund Burke
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I own that there is a haughtiness and fierceness in human nature which will cause innumerable broils, place men in what situation you please. Edmund Burke
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Prejudice renders a man's virtue his habit, and a series of unconnected arts. Though just prejudice, his duty becomes a part of his nature. Edmund Burke
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Religion, to have any force upon men's understandings,-indeed, to exist at all,-must be supposed paramount to law, and independent for its substance upon any human institution, else it would be the absurdest thing in the world,-an acknowledged cheat. Edmund Burke
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Nothing ought to be more weighed than the nature of books recommended by public authority. So recommended, they soon form the character of the age. Edmund Burke
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I do not hesitate to say that the road to eminence and power, from an obscure condition, ought not to be made too easy, nor a thing too much of course. If rare merit be the rarest of all things, it ought to pass through some sort of probation. The temple of honor ought to be seated on an eminence. If it be open through virtue, let it be remembered, too, that virtue is never tried but by some difficulty and some struggle. Edmund Burke
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Nothing so effectually deadens the taste of the sublime as that which is light and radiant. Edmund Burke
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One source of the sublime is infinity. Edmund Burke
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I thought ten thousand swords must have leaped from their scabbards to avenge even a look that threatened her with insult. But the age of chivalry is gone. Edmund Burke
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The wisdom of our ancestors. Edmund Burke
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Some degree of novelty must be one of the materials in almost every instrument which works upon the mind; and curiosity blends itself, more or less, with all our pleasures. Edmund Burke
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The unbought grace of life, the cheap defence of nations, the nurse of manly sentiment and heroic enterprise, is gone! Edmund Burke
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I know of nothing sublime which is not some modification of power. Edmund Burke
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Next to love, Sympathy is the divinest passion of the human heart. Edmund Burke
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No one could make a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little. Edmund Burke
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This study [of law] renders men acute, inquisitive, dexterous, prompt in attack, ready in defense, full of resources. In other countries, the people, more simple, and of a less mercurial cast, judge of an ill principle in government only by an actual grievance; here they anticipate the evil, and judge of the pressure of the grievance by the badness of the principle. They augur misgovernment at a distance, and snuff the approach of tyranny in every tainted breeze. Edmund Burke
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To be attached to the subdivision, to love the little platoon we belong to in society, is the first principle (the germ, as it were) of public affections. It is the first link in the series by which we proceed towards a love to our country and to mankind. Edmund Burke
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Society is indeed a contract.... As the ends of such a partnership cannot be obtained in many generations, it becomes a partnership not only between those who are living, but between those who are living, those who are dead, and those who are to be born. Edmund Burke
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A great empire and little minds go ill together. Edmund Burke
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I would rather sleep in the southern corner of a little country churchyard than in the tomb of the Capulets. Edmund Burke
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My hold of the colonies is in the close affection which grows from common names, from kindred blood, from similar privileges, and equal protection. These are ties which, though light as air, are as strong as links of iron. Edmund Burke
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Some decent regulated pre-eminence, some preference (not exclusive appropriation) given to birth, is neither unnatural, nor unjust, nor impolite. Edmund Burke
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Hypocrisy is no cheap vice; nor can our natural temper be masked for many years together. Edmund Burke
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The individual is foolish; the multitude, for the moment is foolish, when they act without deliberation; but the species is wise, and, when time is given to it, as a species it always acts right. Edmund Burke
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Society is indeed a contract. It is a partnership in all science; a partnership in all art; a partnership in every virtue, and in all perfection. As the ends of such a partnership cannot be obtained in many generations, it becomes a partnership not only between those who are living, but between those who are living, those who are dead, and those who are to be born. Edmund Burke
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Nothing tends so much to the corruption of science as to suffer it to stagnate; these waters must be troubled before they can exert their virtues. Edmund Burke
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All wealth is power, so power must infallibly draw wealth to itself by some means or other. Edmund Burke
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Religious persecution may shield itself under the guise of a mistaken and over-zealous piety. Edmund Burke
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The traveller has reached the end of the journey! Edmund Burke
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Education is the cheap defense of nations. Edmund Burke
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It is the interest of the commercial world that wealth should be found everywhere. Edmund Burke
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If you can be well without health, you may be happy without virtue. Edmund Burke
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Good order is the foundation of all things. Edmund Burke
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But what is liberty without wisdom, and without virtue? It is the greatest of all possible evils; for it is folly, vice, and madness, without tuition or restraint. Edmund Burke
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Prejudice is of ready application in the emergency; it previously engages the mind in a steady course of wisdom and virtue, and does not leave the man hesitating in the moment of decision, skeptical, puzzled and unresolved. Prejudice renders a man's virtue his habit; and not a series of unconnected acts. Through past prejudice, his duty becomes part of his nature. Edmund Burke
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A nation is not conquered which is perpetually to be conquered. Edmund Burke
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Economy is a distributive virtue, and consists not in saving but in selection. Edmund Burke
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In a democracy the majority of citizens is capable of exercising the most cruel oppressions upon the minority...and that oppression of the majority will extend to far great number, and will be carried on with much greater fury, than can almost ever be apprehended from the dominion of a single sceptre. Under a cruel prince they have the plaudits of the people to animate their generous constancy under their sufferings; but those who are subjected to wrong under multitudes are deprived of all external consolation: they seem deserted by mankind, overpowered by a conspiracy of their whole species. Edmund Burke
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He that accuses all mankind of corruption ought to remember that he is sure to convict only one. Edmund Burke
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The unbought grace of life, the cheap defence of nations, the nurse of manly sentiment and heroic enterprise isgone! it isgone, that sensibility of principle, that chastity of honour, which felt a stain like a wound, which ennobled whatever it touched, and under which vice itself lost half its evil, by losing all its grossness. Edmund Burke
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The most favourable laws can do very little towards the happiness of people when the disposition of the ruling power is adverse to them. Edmund Burke
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They [Americans] augur misgovernment at a distance and snuff the approach of tyranny in every tainted breeze. Edmund Burke
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Man is by his constitution a religious animal. Edmund Burke
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All that's necessary for the forces of evil to win in the world is for enough good men to do nothing. Edmund Burke
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There is but one law for all, namely, that law which governs all law, the law of our Creator, the law of humanity, justice, equity - the law of nature, and of nations. Edmund Burke
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The moment you abate anything from the full rights of men each to govern himself, and suffer any artificial positive limitation upon those rights, from that moment the whole organization of government becomes a consideration of convenience. Edmund Burke
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It is undoubtedly true, though it may seem paradoxical, - but, in general, those who are habitually employed in finding and displaying faults are unqualified for the work of reformation. Edmund Burke
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A man is allowed sufficient freedom of thought, provided he knows how to choose his subject properly.... But the scene is changed as you come homeward, and atheism or treason may be the names given in Britain to what would be reason and truth if asserted in China. Edmund Burke
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